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Old 22nd April 2009, 10:37   #1
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Thumbs up Driven: 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S

Surprises are a part of life. They happen when we least expect them to come up. Porsche bombed me with a similar surprise by inviting me to drive the 2009 911. Stevens Creek Porsche dealer was more than happy to schedule an appointment any time of the week according to my availability. The dealership had a 911Turbo Coupe and a Cabriolet, 911GT2 and many Carreras on display. I decided to drive the coupe version of the 911 Carrera S.

Comfort & Feel
My early impressions about the 911 were that it will be very uncomfortable. I was proved wrong the minute I stepped in it. There is enough space to stretch your legs and keep them straight. This does hamper the rear seating which is absolutely useless. Porsche say that the back seats are meant for children but they aren’t fooling anyone here. I had problems getting my camera from the floor which was placed underneath the back seats. The front seating position was one of the best I have ever experienced with great visibility and tight grip on all ends. There can be no comparison for German quality and the materials used in the dashboard felt topnotch. Everything was ergonomically right. The overall interior design made me think that Porsche have genuinely thought about the overall layout balancing space and comfort (Forget the back seats though). The Carrera S comes with 6 airbags, CD-players, climate control, Porsche Stability Management as standard.

Engine & Transmission
The Carrera S comes with a 3.8 litre, horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection. It churns out 385bhp and 310lb/ft of torque. This particular model was fitted with the Seven-Speed PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) dual-clutch gearbox. Gears can be changed using paddles located at the front and back of the steering wheel. This technology has replaced the Tiptronic gearbox which used to be on the previous S models. The PDK provides full control in manual or automatic mode. A brief explanation about PDK is that it has two clutches that work on even and odd gears. Clutch for the next gear is already engaged when you are in the previous gear. This reduces the gear change interval and gears are shifted at speeds which cannot be matched by any manual transmission. The paddles are located at a very comfortable position on the steering wheel. Added to that, they are on both sides of the steering wheel which means that you can choose your sporty hand for shifting. The PDK is impressive as the jerk which is usually felt while changing gears was negligible. The power delivery felt constant throughout the gear changes. Considering the normal posture of holding a steering wheel, the thumbs can be used to up-shift whereas the fingers, that hold the steering wheel, can be used to down-shift. The paddles are also designed for engine braking. I found this very effective while coming to stand still from a speed of 100 km/h. The car came to a complete stop in a matter of seconds. There is a feeling of endless power from the engine which helps the car achieve nearly 300 km/hr/. At civilized revs the car felt very silent and I could not hear the engine. Shooting the revs above 4000 creates a wild exhaust note which is mesmerizing to any ear around it. The Carrera S goes from 0-100 km/hr in 4.6 seconds. I experienced some mid-range acceleration and was pushed back to my seat. They were genuinely scary moments. I was allowed to test the handling capabilities of this car on some curves and I have to say that the car remained glued to the ground like a snail. I was amazed at the grip, taking into consideration that the Carrera S is not 4-wheel drive. This car had 235/35 ZR19s in the front and 295/30 ZR19s at the back. They did their job perfectly. There is a sport setting for the suspension. As soon as it is engaged, the suspension becomes stiff. Each and every little stone present on the road can be felt. I felt very uncomfortable when I tested it on the freeway. The setting is designed purely for track use where the car needs to corner without much body roll.

Thus, the 911 is a fantastic package, the Carrera S priced at just above $100,000s. It is a car bound by no age barrier. You can comfortably drive it on the streets or race it on a track like a maniac. In any case, it will make you happy.

Later on, I got to see the Stevens Creek Porsche service bay. One can never imagine that cars are repaired at such a clean place. They had a Carrera GT for some brake change. I have never seen the under carriage of the Carrera GT before. It was completely covered by carbon fiber. They even had a 996 911 Turbo and a C4S for repair.

Thanks to Robb Eglsaer & Porsche of Stevens Creek

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Under carriage of the Porsche Carrera GT

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Porsche 911 Turbo (996)

Last edited by Stratos : 22nd April 2009 at 10:45.
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Old 22nd April 2009, 10:41   #2
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Great pictures Stratos !! Didn't you have the option of driving the Turbo? Oh well, must have been quite a ride anyway!
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Old 22nd April 2009, 10:42   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspur View Post
Great pictures Stratos !! Didn't you have the option of driving the Turbo? Oh well, must have been quite a ride anyway [:-)]
Nope, the turbos only come to the showroom when they are ordered. So could not get hold of one!
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Old 22nd April 2009, 10:42   #4
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The practical supercar. What can I say? Brilliant first review Nishant. The PDK seems like fun from what you have described it as. Lovely pictures of the showroom and what a clean workshop. Nice CGT as well.

Well done.
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Old 22nd April 2009, 11:12   #5
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Well written review and beautiful pictures. Thank you
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Old 22nd April 2009, 11:33   #6
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Very good review there Stratos and excellent pics to boot!
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Old 22nd April 2009, 11:59   #7
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Loved that car from a really long time and now you made me like it more. Really nice review. The showroom really is worth a small drool.
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Old 22nd April 2009, 12:06   #8
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Brilliantly descriptive! Loved the everything about this post! Well done! And looks like you had some fun too!
Regards,
TG.
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Old 22nd April 2009, 16:47   #9
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Whoa Stratos! From a B.E.S.T. bus to a Porsche 911, you now have a heck of a diverse driving background. I see you are using your American weekends very well indeed.

Quote:
Gears can be changed using paddles located at the front and back of the steering wheel. This technology has replaced the Tiptronic gearbox which used to be on the previous S models. The PDK provides full control in manual or automatic mode. A brief explanation about PDK is that it has two clutches that work on even and odd gears. Clutch for the next gear is already engaged when you are in the previous gear. This reduces the gear change interval and gears are shifted at speeds which cannot be matched by any manual transmission.
It other words, just like a DSG. They really are the best slushboxes one can buy today.

Great opportunity and outstanding review. How some some pics of the interiors + you in the car? Did you wear your cowboy shoes? Bet 'em Porsche sales guys have a lot of free time on their hands right now.
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Old 22nd April 2009, 19:19   #10
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Wow you are one lucky guy stratos!very nice review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post



It other words, just like a DSG. They really are the best slushboxes one can buy today.

.
The DSG is the same one in my superb 2.0 tdi
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Old 22nd April 2009, 19:46   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Whoa Stratos!
Great opportunity and outstanding review. How some some pics of the interiors + you in the car? Did you wear your cowboy shoes? Bet 'em Porsche sales guys have a lot of free time on their hands right now.
Unfortunately, I do not have any interior shots or any shots of the car with me. I did wear my cowboy shoes. I had a scary looking eye infection which is why I did not take a picture of me with the car. About the interior shots, somehow I totally forgot. Sorry guys!
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Old 22nd April 2009, 20:34   #12
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The carbon underside on the GT looks just plain amazing.
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Old 22nd April 2009, 20:39   #13
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Sweet! Thats gotta be an experience to remember for a long long time!
Any plans of getting yourself a 911?
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Old 22nd April 2009, 21:20   #14
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Wonderful narration Nishant. Loved the report and the pics are just drool maal.

Nice of the guys to invite you to enjoy one of their car's. Next time i wish it's a turbo.
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Old 23rd April 2009, 10:21   #15
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lovely pics , the underbody coating is pretty useful feature, should be used for Indian cars as well.
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